It is week 2 of Advent – the week to light the candle of love.
Recently I have been involved in conversations which have steered towards others speaking openly against homosexuality and non-binary identification. It jars me every time and I need to speak my piece about respecting anyone’s choice to consensual adult relationships of any kind.
Sexuality, gender, and orientation debates rage across cultures, religions, creeds, education- and civil rights systems. Do we really have such a glut of love in the world that we can squander our time denying human beings the right to choose how to live their lives? Come on. It’s nobody’s business who anyone else chooses to love. What a boon to have more people finding and sharing love!
I was raised an Anglican, learned hymns and prayers at school, read the Bible to varying degrees throughout my life, survived my mother’s mockery of my faith through the teen years and finally found confidence and an understanding of God that makes complete sense to me. It aligns with my beliefs in evolution, free will, tradition and miraculous intervention. It also takes into account a commitment to common sense and respect for others.
What we wear, how we look, or who we choose to spend our lives with don’t define who we are – they offer us ways through which we express our core essences (at that time), but it is not our entire identity. We are taught right and wrong and we all know the basic precepts of life as a human being. Regardless of the nitty gritty of our belief systems, we all know broadly what is expected of us by society and our higher power: can it be distilled to a belief that everyone should try their best to add what value to the world they can by showing love and goodness?
Is that the point of it all?
No-one in the world is more valuable than anyone else. Each person born here has equal right to life and love – many are scuppered in this by society, but I believe we all have a right to our seat in this crazy place. So many are denied and limited – physically, financially or both and so it muse follow that logically our purpose here can’t have anything to do with appearance, means, freedom, capacity or anything you don’t choose for yourself. This is where it gets hairy in some conversations, but since this is my blog I’m just going to assert that our value is defined by how we treat others and the value we place on love, gratitude and sharing everything we have.
My capacity to love, be grateful or share doesn’t have a single thing to do with my sex, gender or orientation. It has to do with whether I show love, contribute to making the world better, whether I take care of the planet and its resources and respect nature in all its forms. It is about whether or not I recognise that I am responsible for how my words and actions affect others, whether I help others and whether I am humble. I mess up, a lot – all the time. I miss many opportunities to do the right thing and I’m not always grateful or kind, but I’m still here and I must keep at it. I have chosen to follow Jewish and Christian texts to guide me, but I could be pink with purple spots and married to a tree, and I’d still be the same person inside. My daily battle to live a good life and share love has nothing to do with my sex, gender or orientation. Nothing at all.
No-one should be judged, excluded, treated differently or denied love or respect on the grounds of their sex, gender or orientation. To suggest otherwise is simply absurd.
I know that my beliefs don’t resonate with everyone and even some of my closest friends, but even that doesn’t matter. As long as we are good to each other, loyal, honest and live according to universal understandings of kindness, respect and love, surely that’s enough common ground to satisfy everybody?